LinkedIn was a fast growing company with 22 patents in its portfolio in 2012, which puts itself at high risk for patent claim. With revenues reaching approximately $ 1 billion and increasing by 86%, LinkedIn knew that to reduce its risk profile, patent strategy had to be developed, what was LinkedIn’s patent strategy and how it was enhanced.
Linked launched the first professional social network in May 2003. Over time, it has become very successful and from 723% to 9.8 million dollars in 2006 and then from 2007 to 2011 (LinkedIn Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Form S -1 and 2013 SEC Form 10-K).company went public in may 2011 and by 2012 was making around $ billion in annual revenue and continuing to grow rapidly, revenue had increased 86% over the previous year R&D spend had by 95% and headcount was up 63%.However, at the same time, only one US patent and 35 pending applications were issued in LinkedIn. Company officials recognized the performance of corporate patent claims, but until the business itself proved itself, it was closed to deal with the challenge. In 2012, LinkedIn hired a small internal patent team and Richardson started working with the Oliver Law Group to make a mitigation plan.
Opportunities for risk mitigation
• Increasing organic filings to address future assertion risk and patent acquisition to address present
• Near future risk.
To determine the rate of targeted patent filing, LinkedIn reviewed the goals and filing practices of other high-tech companies. More sophisticated (ROI) analysis on investment was not done at that time because LinkedIn already knew that it was behind. The Patent Strategy Team first saw about 25 high tech companies, analyzed their filing rates and R & D expenditure. R & D spend is a good proxy how much innovation is happening, as well as for future revenue expectations – which will be undetermined by the corporate patent.
Patent program’s goal
We wanted to be able to continue our products and services on our growing customer base, depending on our core technologies, while reducing patent risk from large patent holders. We thus determine the rate of filing our goals in the middle of that band – $ 1 million per 0.25 patent in R & D expenses as shown in Figure 4, LinkedIn’s filing rate is our targets before 2001 Was below the rate. This remained unchanged; in 2016 estimated biological vulnerabilities would have lost the target or independence to operate by about 300 patents. Of course, LinkedIn has used high filing rates in earlier years, because some of the basic patents in those years arise. However, without it, LinkedIn needs to be captured.
Contribution of LinkedIn in increasing patent filing application
LinkedIn 2015 increased its organic patent filing for 0.42 filings per million dollars per R & D. Although it was above 0.25 target, these additional filings helped to stop the difference made at the previous low rate. In order to increase the filing rate, LinkedIn needs to move its patent culture originally. Timetables and goals were discussed, and many targeted projects were started.
First invented harvesting
First of all, invention storage sessions were organized on a regular basis. It was important to reduce the impact on the time and attention of the inventors for the success of this program, so we gathered together small groups of engineers and reviewed their current work, captured the ideas that met the filing norms. Further, we benchmarked inventor incentives to better align with other social media companies.
Added a highly visible identifying component to our promotional program, in which the inventor appreciation incidents (for example, our personal film premiere was very successful), program-branded clothing and patented cube prizes were included – all to reward and promote inventors. The program was designed to deliver. Completed education for the size of the patent loss problem and the plan to buy from the general counsel, engineering and product teams, finance department and the chief executive officer. The increasing filing rate came a significantly increased budget. A well-defined plan helped clear budget request.
LinkedIn needs to address a culture in which some inventors have been patented – and especially software patents – within the negative company, we use protective use of patents and in the way our founders used them to help the wider community. They also educated inventors on how to apply for patents, what the benefits are and who to contact. Built an internal web page integrating inventor education and inventor recognition, and identified R&D team members who supported the goals, harnessing their advocacy and enthusiasm. They presented to the company in an all-hands meeting, where we gave out lots of T-shirts. An engineering culture complemented by those who believe in innovation and craftsmanship, and marketing their engineering brands on the basis of professional achievement of recognition for innovation by adding patents to their profile, along with the support of strategic open source projects want. Their organic filing rate is likely to slow. However, we have been able to catch up on some of our lower filing rates and supplement our portfolio through strategic purchases. In June 2016, Microsoft announced the purchase of LinkedIn, so our plans will adapt to the new overall strategy after the purchase closes. Enhancing organic patent filing was only part of LinkedIn’s patent strategy. The second step was to return its portfolio through patent acquisition. With a targeted shopping program, LinkedIn can develop areas in which it is not developing biological technology and patents. In Part 3 of our series, we cover opportunities for taking out risk claims through patent acquisition and LinkedIn acquisition process and results.